Excerpt 2: Noah

Set up. Veronica has just learned she dropped another six pounds in two weeks of working out with her sexy trainer. After he starts to get personal about her life she changes the subject and finally works up the nerve to ask him out for a drink only to be shocked by his revelation. We’re in Noah’s POV here.:

She tilted her head. “I’d rather not now, but I wouldn’t mind going out for a celebratory drink if you’re up for it.”

“I don’t—”

“Okay before the lecture.” She he held her hand up, smiling. “Alcohol is not a part of my diet, but I’ve been really good about keeping it to only one or two glasses of wine a week since I started working out. And tonight would be the night. I haven’t had any all week.”

Had she really asked him to go for a drink with her? She’d grown on him in two weeks, and he’d never seen her out of her sweats, ponytail and no makeup. He knew so little about her except she was more determined than most girls her size to try and whip back into shape. And she was smart. That he definitely picked up on. “I’m not twenty-one.”

For the second time that night, her jaw fell open, only this time it didn’t feel good. “You’re not?”

“It’s not like I’ve never drank.” Hell him and the guys had been drinking for years. “I just can’t legally go into a bar and drink…yet.”

Her eyes were still big with and overly concerned. “How old are you?”

He knew she couldn’t be more than twenty-one or twenty-two. He towered over her and at times she seemed so small and delicate next to his six-foot two stature he felt her so young. “I’ll be twenty soon,” he said with confidence.

“Oh my God.” Her absolutely horrified reaction was not what he was expecting. “I’m so sorry. I had no—”

He had to laugh. “What? I’m legal!”

“I know,” she said, hurrying her step toward the exit of the gym. “I had no idea. I apologize.”

“Again, for what?”

“I just didn’t know.”

“So I’m not twenty-one. How old are you? Twenty-one, twenty-two?”

She glanced at him, her eyes still lit with bewilderment. Since she wasn’t slowing down, he took a step in front of her to make her stop. “How old are you?”

She hesitated for moment before answering turning away then finally looked back at him lifting an eyebrow. “I’m twenty-eight, Noah.”

It came as a surprise. She didn’t look it but by the way she was acting you’d think she was forty. “Alright so you’re twenty-eight. You don’t look it.” She didn’t. Not at all, especially now that she’d lost a few pounds. She tried to walk around him but he moved with her. “Don’t get all weird on me, Veronica. If there’s one thing I’ve learned my whole life, time and age are but an illusion.” The crease that suddenly made an appearance between here eyes again made him smile. “I’ll be twenty in a week, by the way. You lost eleven pounds in two weeks because of me—your nineteen year-old trainer.”

She stared at him for a moment the crease disappeared with her forced smile. “I know. And you’ll never know how much I appreciate it. I’ll see you Monday, okay?”

She walked around him and was almost out the door, but he had to ask. “Why never?”

Glancing back, she took a moment to answer. “I mean, I’ll just never be able to thank you enough.” She shrugged before waving at him and walked out the door.

Noah showered at the gym before leaving, thinking about Veronica the entire time—twenty-eight. She’d never mentioned a husband or boyfriend for that matter. But then their conversations had never gotten that personal. Now that she knew just how old he really was, he got the feeling they never would. In a weird way that bothered him. Maybe he’d just make sure things didn’t change. After all, he meant it when he said it. Age was just an illusion.